More than 41 million branded tablets shipped worldwide in the first quarter of 2014, according to ABI Research. Apple and Samsung combined for 71% of the 41.3 million branded tablets in the quarter, according to early vendor shipment share estimates. This is reportedly the closest the two leading vendors have come to date; the companies remain well ahead of the rest of the pack.

“Despite questions remaining about data disclosure in 2010 and 2011, Samsung’s release of tablet sales data this past quarter is a good sign for the mobile computing market,” said Jeff Orr, senior practice director. “Whether due to its confidence in the economy, its own business, or a combination of reasons, Samsung continues to demonstrate tablet growth as its 2013 retail push in North America and Western Europe pays off.”

The first three months of the year remain a seasonal low-point for tablets, as with other computing and CE markets. A bright spot in the quarter was the tablet attach rate level of mobile broadband modems (3G and 4G). A little over one in five tablets (22%) shipped with an embedded modem, which is the highest penetration seen since the September quarter of 2011.

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